At the Diocesan Museum in Milan, 130 shots trace the career of Robert Doisneau

From May 9 to Oct. 15, 2023, the Diocesan Museum in Milan traces in an exhibition, through 130 black-and-white shots, more than 50 years of the career of Robert Doisneau, considered among the fathers of French humanist photography.

Opens May 9, 2023, and will remain open to the public until Oct. 15, 2023, at the Museo Diocesano “Carlo Maria Martini” in Milan, the exhibition dedicated to Robert Doisneau, considered, together with Henri Cartier-Bresson, among the fathers of French humanist photography. Curated by Gabriel Bauret, promoted by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo and produced by Silvana Editoriale, under the patronage of the Municipality of Milan, with the contribution of Fondazione Banca Popolare di Milano and Fondazione Fiera Milano, the exhibition aims to retrace the great photographer’s creative story through 130 black-and-white images, all from the collection ofAtelier Robert Doisneau in Montrouge, in the immediate southern suburbs of Paris.

The exhibition entitled Robert Doisneau recounts more than fifty years of his career through an itinerary divided into sections that aims to analyze the most recurrent and recognizable themes in his shots, from war to liberation, work, love, children’s games, leisure, music, and fashion, knowing how to translate the gestures, desires and emotions of humanity from the 1930s to the 1960s.

The audience will be taken through these images on a walk through the gardens of Paris, along the Seine, through the streets of the center and the suburbs, in the bistros of the French capital. The subjects of his photographs are in fact Parisians: women, men, children, lovers, animals, artist friends, writers and poets; not only fellow traveler Jacques Prévert, but also Malraux, Tinguely, Picasso, Léger, Giacometti and others.

Among the masterpieces on display is the famous Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville from 1950, which depicts a young couple kissing in front of Paris City Hall as people walk quickly and distractedly by. The work, which has long been identified as a symbol of photography’s ability to freeze the moment, was not taken by accident: in fact, Doisneau was doing a shoot for the American magazine Life and therefore asked the two young men to pose for him.

Rounding out the exhibition is a video interview with curator Gabriel Bauret and the screening of an excerpt from the film made in 2016 by the photographer’s granddaughter, Clémentine Deroudille: Robert Doisneau, le révolté du merveilleux(Robert Doisneau. The Lens of Marvels), which helps to deepen our knowledge of the man and his work. The documentary chronicles his early newspaper publications, his experience within Renault, the occupation and liberation, the happy postwar years, the Paris banlieue, and the birth of his most iconic photography. A number of archival recordings show the photographer inside his own workshop, contributing, along with the director’s narrative voice, to the feeling of intimacy and proximity that Doisneau’s photographs themselves generate between the viewer and the subjects portrayed.

The exhibition is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Evening admission to the exhibition: Monday/Sunday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (from Corso di Porta Ticinese, 95)

For info:

Image: Robert Doisneau, Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville (Paris, 1950) © Robert Doisneau

At the Diocesan Museum in Milan, 130 shots trace the career of Robert Doisneau
At the Diocesan Museum in Milan, 130 shots trace the career of Robert Doisneau

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